Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Royal Ascot 2014 all mad hats and high heels as ladies vie in fashion stakes

A Cappela grout the Tootsie Rollers on Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
A Cappela grout the Tootsie Rollers on Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Jackie St Clair arriving for Day One of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
A Lady wearing a giant sunflower hat on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2014 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Ladies hat fashions during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Ester Dohnalova arriving for Day One of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex (centre left) during Day One of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers (left to right) Emi White, Layla Dee Bradley, Casey Garner and Summer White on Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Genie Williams poses for photographers during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Ladies fashions during Day One of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Daisy Creese from Oxford poses for photographers during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Olga Stepanenko during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Princess Tamara Czartoryski on Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Kristina Rihanoff poses for photographers before being asked to change her dress during Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Paula Iachetti wears a large floral hat during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers check their mobile phones during Day One of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers read the race programme during Day One of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers read the race programme during Day One of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Courtney Wallis wears a 3D printed hat during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers dress in pantomime outfits during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 19, 2014. See PA story RACING Ascot. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A racegoer arrives during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 19, 2014. See PA story RACING Ascot. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Racegoers travel by train from Waterloo station for Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot race meeting on June 19, 2014 in London, England. The Royal Ascot horse race meeting runs from June 17, 2014 until June 21, 2014 and has taken place since 1711. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Racegoers pose for a photo on Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 19, 2014.
Racegoer Stephanie Emsten, 25, from Newmarket poses for photographers wearing a 3D printed hat of the Ascot Poem during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Ladies hat fashions during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers travel by train from Waterloo station for Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot race meeting on June 19, 2014 in London, England. The Royal Ascot horse race meeting runs from June 17, 2014 until June 21, 2014 and has taken place since 1711. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Racegoer Jane Gvein poses for photographers during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers arrive during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Marta Glazen poses for photographers during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Esther Dohnalova poses for photographers during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Constance Peach (right) and other racegoers pose for photographs during Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers carry a picnic basket as they arrive on Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
A Cappela grout the Tootsie Rollers on Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoers (left to right) Sharon and Ellie Teague and Susan Bates infront of the grandstand on Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
A racegoer blows a kiss as she arrives for Day Three of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
A racegoer wears a large floral hat on Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Larisa Katz during Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Racegoer Natalia Kapchuk during Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Kristina Rihanoff after being asked to change her dress during Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.
Tracy Rose shows off her outfit during Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 18, 2014. See PA story RACING Ascot. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Turkish sports presenter Sukran Albayrak during Day Two of the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 18, 2014. See PA story RACING Ascot. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot has seen thousands flood through the turnstyles - donning everything from giant butterflies to art easels on top of their heads.

In the contest to be the maddest hatter at the famous Berkshire racecourse, women turned up draped in all manner of finery in an effort to grab the attention of the paparazzi.

And while the Ascot dress code was tightened up in 2012, it clearly hasn't stamped out the attendees' creativity.

A Chinese dragon, a giant sunflower, a globe and horses heads made out of lace were among the wacky items perched atop ladies' heads.

A new trend for 2014, some were sporting 3D printed hats of all shapes and colours.

For the bookmakers, battered almost to a pulp over the first day and a half, Treve's defeat in the Prince of Wales's Stakes came as a blessed relief. For almost everybody else, it was deflation – it's always sad to see a great champion knocked over.

The Fugue, another high-class filly with three Group One victories already under her belt but rated 7lb inferior to Treve, proved better suited to the distance of 10 furlongs and ground baked quicker than the official description of "good", producing a track record.

It had all seemed so promising for last autumn's sensational Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner. Treve's trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, making her first visit to Royal Ascot from her Chantilly base for 19 years, suspected that the trip might be short of ideal, but was still confident that the horse would run her race and was offering no excuses in advance.

Frankie Dettori, however, reported later that he had concerns even as he cantered the French darling down to the start – "her action was short and choppy, this wasn't the Treve we all know".

Head-Maarek was talking pre-race about returning to Ascot for the King George, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes next month before having another crack at the Arc, but the immediate concern afterwards was to get Treve home and check her over.

''I was not happy with the way she was moving," she said.

"Maybe we'll find something wrong. Horses, they're not easy, eh? But we have lost the battle, not the war."

The Fugue, in command throughout the last furlong after taking over from runner-up Magician, was a second massive result of the week for trainer John Gosden, still buzzing after Kingman's opening-day heroics.

It did not surprise him greatly: "Treve is a wonderful filly and I wouldn't want to take her on in the Arc on soft. But Ascot on summer ground is another thing. The Fugue has feet like a ballerina, so these are her conditions."

This was the first time that The Fugue has been watched in the flesh by owner Lord Lloyd-Webber, whose friends and family again tried to persuade him to stay at home, this time in vain, though this was a jinx that never was. Likely next stop for both horse and owner: York and the Juddmonte Stakes.

Earlier, Kingman received another compliment, not that he really needed one, when Mustajeeb, a thrashed third in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, landed the opening Jersey Stakes.

Anthem Alexander, like Mustajeeb also ridden by Pat Smullen was another heavily backed winning favourite in the Queen Mary Stakes.

"This place has always been very lucky for me," reflected trainer Dermot Weld after Mustajeeb's success in the Jersey Stakes.

With 16 Royal Ascot victories now in safe-keeping for the Curragh handler, fortune surely tells just a small part of the story.

Weld said: "Kingman is an outstanding miler and we were beaten fair and square in the Irish Guineas.

"This colt really appreciated the better ground, I thought he'd win and he did it well.

"He's a very genuine, tough, nice colt. He's a home-bred horse and it's lovely for Sheikh Hamdan to have the one-two.

"He's a good Group winner over a mile and he'll probably go back to a mile in the future.

"We might meet (Kingman) again later in the year, I'll speak with Sheikh Hamdan, but I doubt it will be in the Sussex Stakes."

Smullen had doubled up when Anthem Alexander claimed the Queen Mary Stakes for Meath trainer Eddie Lynam, who won back-to-back renewals of the King's Stand Stakes with the talented Sole Power on the opening day.

Lynam said: "She's a very good filly and I think she will improve a lot from that.

"She could go for the Cherry Hinton (Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket)."

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